Valerie Plame Wilson leads a list of five witnesses -- including Victoria Toensing -- who will testify tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The hearing will seek to determine "whether White House officials followed appropriate procedures for safeguarding the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson." Listen live at the committee's site or via C-Span.
The committee, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), will also address "the disclosure and internal White House security procedures for protecting her identity from disclosure and responding to the leak after it occurred."
A committee press staff member returned my call to tell me the witness list is now up:
- Ms. Valerie Plame Wilson, former employee, Central Intelligence Agency
- Dr. James Knodell, Director, Office of Security, The White House (invited)
- Mr. Mark Zaid, Attorney
- Ms. Victoria Toensing, diGenova & Toensing, LLP
Update [2007-3-15 19:39:9 by SusanHu]: The just-added fifth witness:
- Mr. Bill Leonard, Director, Information Security Oversight Office, National Archives and Records Administration [just added to the committee's list, which 2lucky spotted and commented on below]
Update [2007-3-15 19:25:12 by SusanHu]: Larry Johnson has justed a new diary -- "What Would Valerie Say?" -- anticipating answers to the questions Valerie Plame Wilson has gotten from the rightwing media, and which she may be asked tomorrow morning. It's great!
"Safeguarding Her Identity ..."
That is what this is all about.
At No Quarter, you've read several devastating rebuttals to Ms. Toensing's now-infamous Washington Post column, "Trial in Error," published on February 16, 2007, the weekend before jury deliberations began in the Scooter Libby trial. Those rebuttals are by Jim Marcinkowski ("Victoria's Secret"), by Brent Budowsky ("Dear Editor, Washington Post"), and of course by Larry C. Johnson ("Washington Post Enables Toensing's Delusions").
Larry's post is a must-read in full. But here's part of what he has to say about serving as a CIA employee:
... Ms. Toensing's piece--Trial in Error--should have been titled, "I Am Ignorant of Basic Facts". She offers up two special gems:
- Valerie Plame was not covert.
- Ambassador Joseph Wilson (Valerie's husband) misled the public about how he was sent to Niger, about the thrust of his March 2003 oral report of that trip, and about his wife's CIA status
Valerie Plame was undercover until the day she was identified in Robert Novak's column. I entered on duty with Valerie in September of 1985. Every single member of our class--which was comprised of Case Officers, Analysts, Scientists, and Admin folks--were undercover. ...
You do not have to take my word alone that Valerie was under cover.
Other members of our training class also came forward in 2003 and vouched for Valerie's covert status--Jim Marcinkowski, Brent Cavan, and Mike Grimaldi. We appeared on Nightline three years ago, accompanied by another classmate who remains anonymous, and testified about our personal knowledge of Valerie's status as a covert CIA officer.
I searched diligently for any information on Dr. James Knodell. The White House search engine yielded "0" results for "Knodell," as did Wikipedia. A search of Google for "Dr. James Knodell" and "White House" yielded "0" results. What can I say.
Then there is attorney Mark Zaid. From his site, The James Madison Project:
Mark S. Zaid is the Managing Partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Krieger & Zaid, PLLC and specializes in litigation and lobbying on matters relating to international transactions, torts and crimes, national security, foreign sovereign and diplomatic immunity, defamation (plaintiff) and the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts (FOI/PA).
Through his practice Mr. Zaid often represents former/current federal employees, intelligence officers, Whistleblowers and others who have grievances or have been wronged by agencies of the United States Government or foreign governments, as well as members of the media. He has participated in cases against or involving the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Departments of Defense, Health & Human Services, Justice and State, the Marshal's Service, Secret Service, Library of Congress, Taiwan, Mexico, Macedonia, the Government of Libya, and the Republic of Georgia.
Mr. Zaid is also the Executive Director of the James Madison Project, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, with the primary purpose of educating the public on issues relating to intelligence gathering and operations, secrecy policies, national security and government wrongdoing. ...
Some 'winger blogs state that Zaid is an attorney for both Valerie Plame Wilson and Sibel Edmonds. I can't independently verify that.
On May 23, 2006, Mark Zaid was a guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Zaid discussed a 2006 Business Week story that reported "that the Bush administration is spending tens of millions of dollars every year to buy commercial databases, patronizing a small group of companies that specialize in tracking the finances, phone numbers, biographical information of millions of us." Olbermann introduced Zaid:
Mark Zaid, an attorney who specializes in national security cases and has, in fact, represented more than a dozen intelligence officers in clearance cases.
Olbermann closed the interview with:
Mark Zaid, an attorney who knows national security law backwards and forwards, great thanks for your time, sir.
Zaid testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 21, 2005. The hearing addressed "Able Danger and Intelligence Information Sharing.” Zaid said that he testified "as a surrogate for several witnesses who the Department of Defense has forbidden from appearing before you."
Zaid also represents Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, "the squad leader who is charged with killing at least a dozen Iraqis" in Haditha, Iraq, according to a New York Times report on January 7, 2007.
Valerie Plame Wilson?
I presume you know who she is.
Rep. Waxman sent a letter (PDF) last week to Patrick Fitzgerald, requesting his appearance at tomorrow's hearing. Several news reports today, including the Los Angeles Times, state that Fitzgerald indicated to Waxman that there would be little he could share before a committee.
But Waxman is not giving up.
The committee's March 15, 2007 witness list announcement also says that Waxman "today sent a letter to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald commending him for his investigation and requesting a meeting to discuss testimony by Mr. Fitzgerald before the Committee."